Spinach & Walnut Quiche… Lucas has the car key!

Cow Quiche

Madeleine: A wave of panic spreads through me.  The front door is shut.  I walk around the back of the car in anticipation the passenger door will be open, it’s locked, every door is locked and the windows shut. I peer through the tinted rain covered windows, Lucas is unstrapped balancing on his car seat, gleefully playing with the car key.  I reach for my phone, then realise it’s with Lucas.  Thankfully we have just arrived home and the apartment window, three floors up is open, I shout ‘Baz’. Trying to stay calm, smiling, making funny faces at Lucas through the window so as not to panic him. I am hoping Andrew will appear with a spare car key.  ‘There isn’t one”.  I have actually just locked Lucas in the car, I can not believe it! I pray he doesn’t fall off the car seat as its high up on the front seat of the van and he looks close to falling head first into the foot space.  As Andrew attempts to force open a window, we remember one of his previous games, playing with the lock! …

Andrew: “Baz… Andrew, ANDREW!!” I hear shouting from 3 floors down. It is Madeleine and she has just returned from her friend’s house. I’m sure she wants me to trek down all those stairs and lug up something heavy.

“Andrew!!” This time she sounds slightly panicked, I make my way to the window, peering through the bars I look down. Madeleine has a peculiar grin on her face whilst sounding very stressed. She urges me to come down immediately. 30 seconds later I arrive with a look that clearly says, “this had better be important”. She points to Lucas sat, seat belt off, in his car seat grinning. With an insane grin on her face she explains that Lucas has the car key in his hand and the doors are all locked. Oh…

No, we don’t have a spare and all the other doors and boot are locked. Madeleine tries to look relaxed so as to not stress out Lucas who is now on the verge of falling head first into the foot well. This is not good. I pull on the windows to see if I can force one down, they don’t budge. I look around for a brick to smash a window should Lucas fall and bang his head. Lucas, oblivious to stress he is putting us both under, taps the car window with the key and repeatedly says “car key, car key”.

We decide to play a game and try to convince Lucas to unlock the door by pulling up the knob. He is more intent on ramming the key in to various parts of the doors interior. We will him to pull the lock up and as he nearly rocks backwards in to the drivers side foot well.

Madeleine: The rain starts to fall, our heart rates now nearing maximum. We begin to play the “unlock the car door, NOW game”  joking and tapping on the window desperate for Lucas to pull the lock up….he does it!  We grab our opportunity to open the door before he locks it again and stand ready to catch him as he falls out whilst leaning on the door.  Thank God. With the key still clutched tightly in his hand, he is safe and and our heart rates slowly return to normal.


Aside from being locked in the car, Lucas is doing really well and talking loads. I am really enjoying having conversations with him, generally they are about green and purple tractors, he loves drawing them on the roof (in chalk) above our apartment, painting them, playing with them, pretending to be them, singing about them, his favourite (‘Old McCutcheon had a tractor ei ei o’). He would even eat them although I haven’t managed to find a tractor cutter yet! We do however have a cow cutter which inspired a cow in a green field quiche, Lucas was also very excited and amazingly able to crack open 5 eggs for the mix!


The eye project gets back on the road next week after an unexpected delay. We have several new team members coming out to the field for the first time. All have shown a capacity to learn quickly and an enthusiasm for the project.

Hannah, Andrew’s supervisor has just arrived in Kenya and will be joining us tomorrow, along with her husband and two young kids. It is great time to oversee some changes in the team and ensure everything runs smoothly.

Earlier in the week we met the new County Governer for Nakuru. He had a good grasp of the projects and their challenges (both eye and bakery), and was very supportive.

We hope in the next week or two to be full steam ahead.

As of today, the equipment van has new wheels to tackle the many off-road locations we will visit in the coming weeks.


Spinach Tart/Cow quiche Recipe

Ingredients: (makes 6 small or one large tart)

For the pastry

100g wholemeal flour

100g white plain flour

1tsp baking powder

80g cheddar cheese

1tsp caynne pepper

100g butter (cut into to cubes straight from the fridge)

Approx 2 tbsp ice cold water

For the filling:

300g fresh spinach

2 small red onions

2 garlic cloves

1tablespoon olive oil

Generous half tsp cayenne pepper, half of turmeric and small half of nutmeg and a pinch of salt.

4 large/5 medium eggs

65g cheddar cheese grated

100g plain yogurt

20ml double cream or add 20g extra yogurt or 20g butter

50g walnuts crushed, if you particularly like walnuts you can double this.


Start with the pastry.

  1. Mix the flours, baking powder , cayenne pepper and grated cheese together.
  2. Tip the cubed butter into the dry ingredients and rub in with your hands, lifting your hands as you do so until you have a breadcrumb consistency.
  3. Gradually add the ice cold water and mix in with a knife until you have a dough, bring together and wrap in cling film and place in the fridge.
  4. Move onto making the filling.
  5. Roughly chop the onions and garlic and sauté in the olive oil for 5 minutes in a non-stick pan.  Whilst in the pan, tear the spinach up a little if needed and add to the onions then continue to cook until all spinach wilted and turn off.
  6. Add the eggs, yogurt, spices, grated cheese together and mix.
  7. Add the spinach mix and egg mix together in a food processor and blend until fine consistency,  put the walnuts in a sealed bag and bash until all broken, then add the pieces to the blended mixture.
  8. Put aside.
  9. Roll out the pastry, either 6 small ones or one big one about 3-4mm thick.
  10. Place the quiche pastry in a silicon or greased tin and gently push down, place the animals on a non-stick tray.
  11. Place baking balls or dried beans on tin foil and poke holes in with a fork
  12. Place in the oven for 10minutes at 180ºC, take out, remove baking balls and glaze with egg wash place back in the oven for 5 minutes, take out and fill with the filling and place in the oven for 10minutes take out and place the half cooked animal pastry on the tops gently and place in the oven for a further 5 minutes.

A Zebra Crossing, no really….

zebra crossing

Getting new wheels for the van


3 thoughts on “Spinach & Walnut Quiche… Lucas has the car key!

  1. Oh my goodness!!! Will look out for tractor cutters for you!! Amazing skills on the eggs…maybe some fake car keys needed for Lucas!!! Glad you are all well and good luck with the restart of the projects. xxx

  2. That sounds like a similar story that my Mum tells of when I was about Lucas’s age! Only she couldn’t persuade me to unlock the door and had to wait for my Dad to turn up with the spare keys :-/
    Tractors sound like a slightly more reasonable obsession than spiders, which are Jessica’s object of choice!
    Loving the zebra crossing xxx

  3. Classic Lucas! The story did make me laugh. Not that it made you laugh at the time….

    I hope Baz’ supervisor is pleased at the progress made. These things always have complications but it seems the new team is all set and properly mobile. I look forward to hearing how it works when you go out in the mud!

    Love to you all


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